Monday, 10 October 2016

Living a Thankful Life

Yesterday, God spoke. And my soul was touched with His words.

Yesterday, I was asked, "What is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ? Do you know who you're trying to live for? Do you believe God's word- truly believe that every word of the Bible is God's truth?" 

Yesterday, I was asked, "Do you have the burden to share this saving knowledge of God?"

Yesterday, I was asked, "Isn't it time to act?"

I have been on a life-long journey of trying and failing to follow God's will. I desire to serve and follow God, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I have done my best to follow, but that best still remains imperfect. It is only through God's saving grace that I get up each morning to try again. To admit to my many failures and to reconfirm my belief in God. 

Too many times I find myself getting comfortable. Selfishly enjoying my surplus income, my amazing job, my lack of problems. Too many times I find myself complaining, "It's too hot out!" "There's nothing to eat in this house!" And, when something truly trying happens, such as the sudden death of an old friend, I cry out, "It's too much God! Why does this have to happen to me?"

But, if I think about it, and I mean really think, what do I have to complain about? I am blessed beyond measure. I have the ability to teach in an incredible school. I can share my faith without fear of persecution. I have such a surplus of food that I actually have to watch my weight. I can walk down the street without fear for my life. This Thanksgiving, how can I not be thankful? 

And it is because of this thankfulness that I feel compelled to do more. In living a life of gratitude, how can I merely sit content in my blessings? Should I not feel compelled to go out? Do I believe in the truth of the Bible? That every word is the word of God? Yes! Do I believe that God meant was He said? Yes! Then what am I going to do about it?

Gandhi once said, 

I have been given a document whose words can bring peace to this world. But I read it as if it's good literature. GOD'S WORD- I read it as if it were good literature! 

“Only Jesus would be crazy enough to suggest that if you want to become the greatest, you should become the least. Only Jesus would declare God's blessing on the poor rather than on the rich and would insist that it's not enough to just love your friends. I just began to wonder if anybody still believed Jesus meant those things he said” (Shane ClaiborneThe Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical). 

Do any of us really believe that Jesus meant the things He said? Do we? Do our actions back out beliefs? Or do we just follow the parts that fit our lifestyles and ignore the rest? Do we highlight the parts of the Bible that work for us and claim that the rest applies to other Christians. 

“Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful” (Shane ClaiborneJesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals). Is Christianity peculiar? Are the church marginalized? Are we suffering? Really? 

We have been given the very Word of God! Are we reading it as if it were nothing more than a piece of good literature? Or are we reading His Word as if Jesus really meant those things He said? 

"Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:39)
"Go and make disciples" (Mark 28:19)
"Do not worry" (Matthew 6:25)

God, help me to truly live my life according to your word.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Busy Bees

I recently visited with a good friend of mine and his wife in Michigan. Lou owns four bee hives and, WOW, are bees not fascinating to watch!?! In and out flew the bees. In and out. In and out. Those hives never slowed down! And there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for which bee did which job (let alone what the bees even did!). Still, the term "busy bee" took on new meaning for me. 
Thankfully, Lou has been learning all about bees lately and loves pulling up a chair and watching them work. He told me that all bees have a job. They all serve a purpose. The queen bee is the ruler of the roost and somehow each and every bee knows their role and how to go about it. Somehow, bees communicate with each other and can even explain the location of a productive patch of flowers to their hive without showing them. Not only that, Lou explained, bees seem to use the sun to guide their directions. So, as the sun moves along its course, the directions change!
As Lou and I visited in the shade of the tree in his backyard, he mused, "missions is like a beehive." 
I was struck by that observation and have been pondering that phrase for a while. The more I've learned about missions the more I believe that Lou is right. No bee can operate on its own, without a hive. Their participation in the hive allows the hive to last. In the same way, on the mission field, no one person can operate on their own. Teams are necessary and allow missionaries to remain in the field longer. Not only that, but without a support base and church families standing behind a missionary, the chances of success are small.
I'm in Orlando, Florida this week at the U.S. Pioneers headquarters learning about my sending agency alongside 50 other potential missionaries. I've been able to connect with so many likeminded individuals! Each of us has shared how God brought us to pursue missions and it is been incredible learning how God is working across the world!
I ask that you lift up this mission in prayer. If you'd like to hear more about how God is working in East Africa, please let me know! I hope to leave for the mission field in January, but there is a lot to be done still. God is working and I am so blessed to be called to this mission!! I am excited to be part of reaching the unreached for the sake of the gospel. Please consider partnering, both prayerfully and financially, with this vision. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Following the Call

I'm a teacher. I love to see the lightbulb go off in a child's eyes when he or she learns something new. I love to encourage a student and work hard to convince them that they are capable of so much more than they believe of themselves. Can't spell a word correctly? Well, I love to prove to them that they can. Can't get your story ideas down on paper? Well, let's talk it through and get past that writer's block. What is photosynthesis? Well, let's take a look at this plant and how intricate its design is. I thrive on showing our beautiful and awe-inspiring world to a class of students and then, in return, seeing that same world through their eyes. 

Unfortunately, so many teachers in the world lack educational training. Many schools lack basic teaching supplies that we take for granted in most western countries. I myself have often taken for granted the numerous years of education and countless teachers that have been such a blessing to my life. 

I am currently in the planning stages of joining a missionary team to East Africa.* There, most of the schools are "managed" by untrained teachers. Sadly, there are few trained teachers working in schools as most educated teachers work in more lucrative positions outside the school. Many believe that "those who can, do; those who cannot, teach; those who cannot teach, teach education."

A common attitude is that education as a career is simply a valueless job. Teaching has become the job for those who are stranded or for those who cannot get the job they’d like because they lack the schooling or money needed. For many “teaching is the last career to be pursued if one wishes to have fulfillment in life.”

In an effort to combat this long-held belief, I will be leaving in January to work with a teacher training program. Our mission is to teach education as a calling. To teach the realization that education can bring about great change for a country. We ask teachers to become reflective, and to understand that they are leaders in society and the church. We work with teachers as they learn to develop professionalism in their teaching, to take their role in their students’ lives seriously, and to integrate a Christian worldview into all their teaching and learning.

This opportunity to serve in a new calling, and new country, landed in my lap unannounced 10 months ago. From the very beginning, I have seen it as a humbling challenge- one for which I feel very unqualified and unprepared. God has been working, opening and closing various doors and windows, to get me to the point of saying, "yes." The mission has evolved during this time and I am continually learning to let go of control and to follow where He leads, even if it is not where I had originally planned.

The process of the last months has led me to choose an organization called Pioneers as my sending agency ( As a full-time missionary, I am looking for people to partner with this mission. To come alongside prayerfully and financially to support what God is and will be doing in this program. John Wesley once said, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." 

God calls each of us in different directions and He equips us for whatever He calls us to do. I am choosing to trust that God is in control as I step out in faith to follow where He leads in these next years. I ask you to consider God's call on your life as I work to follow God's call in mine. Please feel free to ask questions, let me know if you want more information about what God is doing in East Africa, and pray for me as I step out in faith.

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And what I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by God's grace I will do" (Anonymous).

By God's grace, I choose to serve.

for security reasons, I've been advised to not mention which country online.